European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Albert Schweitzer 2012: Turkey Preview

March 31st, 2012 · 1 Comment

Next weekend, the 26th edition of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament will start in Mannheim. After the departure of the US troops, the organization had to change the location with the traditional US Sports Arena not being in the schedule anymore. In order to prepare one of the major events of the year, we will take a look forward to the participants by either having people from the different countries writing the report or collaborating to have a good inside view. We will start today with the team from Turkey.

The Turkish team is without any doubt one of the most talented squads of the tournament and can be counted among the favorites. There will be a comeback of Burak Yildizliwho got kicked out of the team after the semi-final elimination in the Türk Telekom tournament two years ago. Since then, he has never been nominated again but he should be with the team in Mannheim. So far, Yildizli plays a great season in the Turkish second league where he averages 14.8ppg and 8.8rpg. The 2m02 tall forward plays already in a very mature way and is the clear leader of the team. He shows that he can be effective without forcing the shots, a problem known of him before.

The other important big guy is Talat Altunbeywho gets some minutes with Bandirma Kirmizi in the first league. He is used as a SG-SF-PF, is an extremely athletic player with some surprising moves. Without Yildizli on the team, it would have been the right tournament for Altunbey to make his break out.

The back court is very strong with Kenan Sipahi and Tayfun Erülkü. Erülkü is a SG who excels when he has the ball in his hands and is a bit limited off the ball but this is not a major problem. Sipahi is in my opinion one of the favorites for the Burkhard Wildermuth award for the most talented player. As backups, the two top guards will have the very young Kartal Özmirak and Cedi Osman while the solid Kerem Gülmezcan be used on multiple positions.

James Metecan Birsenis without any doubt one of the most interesting players of the whole tournament. However, you can not expect him to have huge scoring outburst as the team simply has too much overall talent for one player to stand out. As Sipahi and Erülkü will probably handle the most offensive plays, Birsen might not see that many offensive opportunities down the road.

There are some question marks around the team though. The main problem is how Yildizli can find his role in a team that played without him over the last years and if he will put himself behind the team’s success. He showed with Pertevniyal that he is able to do so but it will be interesting to see how he can translate this to the National Team. Another problem of the still very young team is the absence of a real Center where they only have the little overweight and undersized Emre Mirza.

This article has been written in collaboration with a Turkish Basketball fan following their youth specifically.

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 eblek // Apr 8, 2012 at 1:55 am

    burak yildizli was being accepted as the best 94′ prospect after saric before kicked out of national team. after that he was not in sight of international media for much than 2 years. it is highly possible that his come-back will be impressive.

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